Book Clubs

Book clubs in Lafayette, Indiana; Ashland, Oregon; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Wading River, New York (just to name a few) are all reading Licking the Spoon!

Download a printable copy of the Licking the Spoon Reader’s Guide, complete with a bonus recipe!

Invite the Author

Candace is available to visit with your book group via phone call, Skype, or in person (if it’s geographically plausible). Please email her at She also happily mails or delivers the gift of a homemade dessert, with sufficient advance notice.

Discussion Questions

  1.  Throughout the book, as Walsh chronicles various stages in her life, she turns to a variety of food/cooking/lifestyle gurus, such as Martha Stewart, Mollie Katzen, and Daniel Boulud, as role models. Have you ever found yourself drawn to specific food-related authors or books as role models? How did they impact your culinary life, or your lifestyle in general?
  2.  Walsh begins Licking the Spoon with a look back at her ancestors, and how their relationship to food helped to shape her own experience. How did your own ancestors shape your relationship to food? Do you have any family recipes or traditions that have been passed down through generations?
  3.  In Chapter 3, “Cradle of Flavor,” Walsh relates her earliest memories of food—both good and bad. What are your earliest food-related memories, and how did they impact your relationship to food and to the people involved?
  4.  Have you ever used food as a means to try to win someone over? Has anyone ever tried to win you over with food? Did it work? Why or why not?
  5.  As a genre, the food memoir is relatively new. What do you think accounts for its rise in popularity over the past 10-15 years?
  6.  Memoir-writing often involves the difficult work of confronting and making sense of things most of us would rather forget. How do you feel Walsh deals with these issues? How would your own memoir handle your life’s mistakes and unpleasant experiences?
  7.  In what ways are cooking and eating apt metaphors for putting together and experiencing life?
  8.  How is the title, Licking the Spoon, echoed throughout the book? What does the phrase mean to you?
  9.  How does Walsh’s identity as a daughter, sister, wife, and mother evolve throughout the book? Looking back on your own life, how would you chart your own shifts in identity?
  10.  What did you find most surprising or memorable about the book? How did it change the way you think about food, family, and/or identity?

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